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Web Accessibility/HTML Standards in 4 EU States

From: Barry McMullin <mcmullin@eeng.dcu.ie>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 2004 19:50:39 +0100 (IST)
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Cc: mcmullin@eeng.dcu.ie
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.58.0407201948230.11925@pompeii.eeng.dcu.ie>

[Apologies for possible duplicate post - I used the wrong "from"
account last time around; also, I see that Joe Clark has already
noted the appearance of this article - thx, Joe!]

Hi Folks -

This has just appeared in First Monday:

  "A Comparative Assessment of Web Accessibility and Technical
  Standards Conformance in Four EU States"

  by Carmen Marincu and Barry McMullin

  <http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue9_7/marincu/index.html>

In brief, it reports results from a purely automated survey of
HTML validity and certain accessibility indicators in samples of
sites from Ireland, UK, France and Germany.

Before anyone jumps on me, we are well aware of the significant
limitations of this kind of automated surveying, and these are
discussed explicitly in the paper! But, that said, we would, of
course, welcome any critical response or commentary.

I am conscious that the version at the URL above, while
"reasonably" accessible, is certainly not fully compliant even
with WCAG-A (not even against those things that can be tested
fully automatically). The deep irony of this is not lost on
us. Unfortunately, this is a consequence of certain aspects of
First Monday's house style and policy which are not under our
direct control...

Accordingly, an essentially equivalent version of the paper is
available in "preprint" form at this URL:

<http://eaccess.rince.ie/white-papers/2004/warp-2004-00/>

This one is under our control, and we have tried fairly hard to
make it conformant to WCAG-AA; and, indeed, we include an
explicit claim to that effect.  There would obviously be room for
debate on some checkpoints - for example, WCAG 14.1 ("Use the
clearest and simplest language appropriate for a site's
content").  In any case, it is a long and technically complex
document, and we may certainly have overlooked something. So,
if there are still accessibility queries or shortcomings, do
please let us know.

Best regards,

- Barry.
Received on Tuesday, 20 July 2004 14:53:32 UTC

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